Visa denial forces Boy George to cancel US tour

Other News Materials 2 July 2008 02:45 (UTC +04:00)

Boy George's plans for a North American tour have run into some bad karma.

The Culture Club singer, whose given name is George O'Dowd, has canceled his summer plans after U.S. authorities denied him a visa to enter the country, the AP reported.

O'Dowd, 47, had planned to officially kick off his 25-city tour in Aspen, Colo., on July 10, and was to throw in a free concert at the New York City Department of Sanitation's Family Day in August. He worked for the department in 2006 while performing court-ordered community service in a drug case.

That didn't appear possible, though, when last week O'Dowd's managers issued a statement saying he had been refused a visa because he's awaiting trial in London on charges that he falsely imprisoned a man. The Sun newspaper reported in April that a 28-year-old man claimed he was chained and threatened at O'Dowd's London flat, where he had gone to work as a photo model.

The singer, whose hits include "Karma Chameleon," has pleaded not guilty.

"I was really hoping that the issue would be resolved and that some kind soul at the U.S. Visa Office would realize that if the police in the U.K. placed no restrictions on my movements, that should have been good enough for them," O'Dowd said in a statement Tuesday.

"I am very sorry that I will not see all my American fans this year, but I wish them a happy and healthy Fourth of July. I include the Visa Office in those good wishes and realize they are doing a very difficult job and I just got unlucky," he said.

Meanwhile, O'Dowd intends to reschedule his North American tour for next winter. He'll continue his concert tours of South America and the United Kingdom in September and October.